When mentioning a holiday to South Africa, “cheap”, “low cost”, and “budget” aren’t exactly the words that come to mind at first!
Think about it, you are travelling to the southern most country in Africa, you will be visiting Cape Town, a city consistently ranked as one of the best cities in the world. Wine tasting on world class vineyards. Visiting a safari park which has Africa’s big 5 animals (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, & rhino). Surely a holiday containing all this must be expensive?
Well, not really! While a holiday to South Africa might not be as cheap as a holiday to somewhere like east Asia, it certainly can be made highly affordable if you know what you’re doing. In this guide, we’ll show you some tips on how to get an unforgettable South Africa holiday at a low price! From booking cheap flights to South Africa, to low cost local transport, and even big 5 safari parks.
It’s all about timing
We can’t emphasize this enough. The cost of your holiday will greatly depend on what time of the year you visit South Africa. To get an affordable South Africa holiday, timing is the secret! As South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, our summer is from December to February, while our winter is from June to August. In the South African tourism industry, the year is often divided in three periods: low season, high season, and peak season.
Low season is usually from May to the end of September, while high season is usually from the October to the end of April. Low season is the least busy in terms of tourists, while high season is the “busy season”. Peak season is from the middle of December to the middle of January. This the peak busy period during the South Africa holiday season. This is because this is the South African summer holiday times. Schools and universities are closed, and most adults take time off from work as well. The cheapest time to visit South Africa is low season! Not only will flights to and from South Africa be cheaper, but so will accommodation and a lot of the prices of activities.
Book cheap flights to South Africa
Flying “all the way” to South Africa must be expensive. Nope, not really. Especially if you are flying from Europe, you can find some really cheap flights to South Africa. This is the biggest and easiest way to save money and make your South Africa holiday a whole lot cheaper.
The easiest way to get cheap transport and accommodation
Great you’ve made it to South Africa! Now what? The next part of your cheap South Africa holiday is your transport and accommodation in South Africa. Unfortunately, the South African public transport systems are dismal to say in the least. In order to travel from town to town, you will need private transport. The easiest way to turn your vacation from cheap to expensive is to start using what are known as “transfers”.
The simple solution is to hire a car. Fortunately for you Travel2Africa has a car to take you from the airport on your arrival. Hiring a car is by far the cheapest way to travel, especially if you are travelling in a group of two or more! Also, hire a car that suites your needs. Some companies will try sell you a hire car bigger than you need, e.g. a Toyota Corolla instead of Volkswagen Polo for 2 people. Don’t worry. Driving in South Africa is pretty easy, especially along the tourist routes. Just remember that we drive on the left-hand side of the road and you should be fine!
Sure, there is plenty of cheap accommodation. All you need to do is go onto websites such as Booking.com or AirBNB to find cheap accommodation. But be warned! Cheap isn’t always good. Pictures can be deceiving, great hotels / guest houses can be in awful locations, and reviews might not always reflect your standards! What we advise for a cheap South Africa holiday, is value for money! Finding amazing guesthouses and boutique hotels which offer both a great price as well as a great location and service. That is the goal.
But how do you find such guesthouses and boutique hotels? You don’t. We do! South African tour operators, such as ourselves, find these guest houses and smaller hotels. The best part? It actually doesn’t cost you anything to book through us, as opposed to booking directly online.
Use South African tour operators!
It will generally cost you the same to book a holiday through a South African tour operator, than if you were to book all the individual hotels, guest houses, safaris, and rental car yourself. Local tour operators such as ourselves know where to find the best value for money. This lets us create a cheap South Africa holiday for you! Plus letting a local tour operator book your cheap South Africa holiday, will help your South Africa holiday go as smooth as possible. Booking mistakes, can end up being very expensive, especially when you need to find accommodation or transport at short notice!
Cheap food and the best worst restaurants
Right, so far, we’ve got your budget South Africa holiday with flights, transport, and accommodation. But there’s another rather vital expense, which will affect your low-cost budget - Food and drinks! The cost of food and drinks can add up really quickly. Especially if you are spending a lot of time in popular tourist areas. We always book our guests in self-catering accommodation; we prepare all our famous South African cousins. The cost of eating lunch at a restaurant will depend mostly where the restaurant is located. In a non-touristy area, you can get a meal and drink for about R70 per person. If you are in a tourist area this can go over R100 per person.
The budget safari
When travelling to anywhere in Africa, a safari is simply a must. But these normally aren’t cheap! Especially if you are looking online. Luckily for you, there are ways of getting a really great safari experience at a low cost. South African tour operators, such as ourselves, are able to organize these safaris for you and move you around.
You can enjoy your holiday without breaking your bank and worrying about how you will cope in Africa. Luckily for you Travel2Africa will all of the above for you at no extra cost to you!